Moonstone is a variety of Feldspar - the most common mineral in our planet's crust!
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Pretty much everyone loves moonstone! This fascinating gemstone has a very striking feature - called adularescence. As the stone is moved under light, a flashing "moon" like glow can be seen deep within the gem, and it moves across the stone as it is tilted from side to side.
Moonstone is a gem variety of feldspar (orthoclase feldspar). The feldspar group also includes Labradorite and Sunstone. Feldspar is the most abundant mineral group found in the crust of our planet ... many beaches are covered with sand rich in feldspar. Lower qualities of feldspar are often used to make glass. Gem feldspars are made into beads and cabochons for jewelry. The bracelet on the right is made with multi-colored moonstone beads.
Moonstone occurs naturally in quite a few colors, as you can see from the photos on this page. Milky white is the most common type. Moonstone transmits light - it is translucent, but not clear or transparent. Moonstone is also found in a silver or grey color, several shades of brown, and a pink or "peach" color. Blue or green moonstone are more rare.
The ring at left is set with "rainbow moonstone". This is actually a clear to milky variety of labradorite commonly sold as a variety of moonstone.
Moonstone has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. It can be found in ancient jewelry and is on display in museums everywhere. It is a common mineral, found worldwide. Most moonstone is cut into beads and cabochons in India.
Moonstone Care Tips
Moonstone is best worn in necklaces and earrings. This
stone is a 6 on the Mohs scale; a bit soft. But everyone loves moonstone
rings: as long as a bit of care is taken a moonstone ring can be worn
for a lifetime or more! The gold ring on the right is set with rainbow
as I mentioned above, rainbow moonstone is a related feldapar mineral, but not a true moonstone - the stone in this ring is actually a white labradorite.
Try not to strike your moonstone jewelry on a hard surface. Other than that this stone is fairly easy to care for. A quick wash with a soft, used toothbrush and dish soap works very well. Don't clean moonstone jewelry in a steam or ultrasonic cleaner. If you must use a tarnish removing dip be sure to rinse your jewelry well.
At left is a silver bracelet set with three colors of moonstone
cabochons - white, peach and silver. These are natural colors; very
different, but all display adularescense, or the inner glow with the
"moon" effect. On the right side is a photo of a custom made ring I put together;
the glowing stone in the center is a blue moonstone, one of the less
Whatever your favorite color or type of moonstone, keep in mind that this stone is a bit on the soft side, and it should be handled somewhat gently.
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